Topical Corticosteroid Clobetasol

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Question

What is clobetasol?

Answer

Clobetasol is a topical corticosteroid used to treat inflammation, itching, swelling and pain caused by skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It is one of the most potent topical steroids; therefore, it is intended for short term use only. Clobetasol is available in different topical forms, including a cream, lotion, gel, spray, foam, scalp solution, ointment and shampoo. Brands names include Clobex®, Olux® and Temovate®. Clobetasol can be used to treat skin conditions in adults, adolescents and children age 12 years of age and older. Clobetasol shampoo is a corticosteroid for calming the redness, swelling, itching and other uncomfortable symptoms of scalp psoriasis. Clobetasol shampoo is available under the brand name Clobex Shampoo. Your dermatologist will be able to tell you if clobetasol shampoo is the right treatment for you.

How is clobetasol used?

Clobetasol is applied either once or twice daily depending on the use. It is very important you use it exactly as the doctor prescribed for treatment success. Using more or less than what the doctor prescribes is not recommended. Clobetasol is typically only used up to 14 days. If you need it for longer, consult with your doctor.

What should I know about clobetasol before using it?

People who have rosacea, perioral dermatitis or allergies to the ingredients in clobetasol or similar medications should not use it. Clobetasol could be dangerous if used incorrectly; never ingest it or overuse it, as it could cause serious problems with your adrenal gland. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should discuss with their doctors the risks they would be taking by using clobetasol; so should parents of children under 12 years of age. Be sure to discuss your medical history with your doctor thoroughly before using clobetasol, especially if you suffer from Cushing's syndrome, skin infection, hyperglycemia, intracranial hypertension, diabetes or have an open wound where the drug is needed.

How is clobetasol stored?

Keep clobetasol in the same container you received from the pharmacy. Keep it closed tight and kept in a place where children cannot reach it. Store it at room temperature and away from moisture and heat, so do not store in a bathroom or near ovens or stoves. Do not freeze. Talk to your pharmacist and doctor if the consistency of the medication is not what you are used to. This may be because the medication has expired.

See corticosteroid overdose, in our Health Encyclopedia.

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